With markets having dropped further, investors will be hoping that positive jobs data gives a positive flavour to the end of a difficult week. There had been hopes for a rally on Thursday, but this failed to materialise.
Markets have been largely in the red since the publication of minutes from a December meeting of the US Federal Reserve, which indicated that its monetary policy may tighten more quickly than previously thought. Since then, investors have been dumping tech and growth stocks in favour of safer options, a trend which continued on Thursday.
Ahead of the US market open, European stocks began the day lower. Investors are expected to play things cagily until the release of December jobs data, which is expected to show the addition of around 420,000 new jobs during the month.
Meanwhile, oil prices have climbed on the back of concerns about supply from Kazakhstan, where political unrest is ongoing, and Libya.
Here are some of today’s top stories:
GameStop (NYSE: GME) shares have surged higher in premarket trading after the retailer announced plans to develop an NFT marketplace and further embrace cryptocurrencies. This has galvanized the interest of investors on Reddit, some of whom are predicting a GME ‘moonshot’.
Trump-backed SPAC Digital World Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: DWAC) rocketed on Thursday after a launch date of 21 February was set for the former President’s new social media app. Truth Social is intended to be a right-wing rival for Meta (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter (NASDAQ: TWTR), which both banned Donald Trump following the 6 January riots in 2021.
Kentucky-based health insurance outfit Humana (NYSE: HUM) has seen its share price plunge after it lowered estimates for Medicare membership in 2022.
Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) chief executive, Stephane Bancel, has warned that people may need a fourth vaccination by autumn 2022, as the booster shot may have lost efficacy by then.
Hearing aid specialist Eargo (NASDAQ: EAR) saw its share price leap by more than 50% on Thursday after confirming that a criminal investigation into the business by the Department of Justice was no longer active.
These are some of the biggest stories from Asian markets:
Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930) announced that its Q4 2021 profits are expected to increase by 52% to around $11.5bn. This increase has partially been driven by the South Korean firm’s chip-making efforts.
Chinese property developer Shimao (HKG: 0813) is seeking to delay loan payments, raising further concerns about the nation’s property sector.
Finally, here’s a bit of the latest cryptocurrency news:
Bitcoin (BTC) has hit its lowest ebb since September, with the digital currency now sitting around 40% lower than its all-time high.
Cryptocurrencies are continuing to be hampered by unrest in Kazakhstan, which is the second-largest crypto miner in the world. The Central Asian nation’s embattled leadership has commenced internet blackouts in an attempt to disrupt their opposition, halting crypto-mining efforts.
Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis says $14bn in cryptocurrency was stolen by criminals in 2021, with theft of digital currency rising alongside its general popularity.